Holiday Havoc or Harmony: Amy Shares Her Tips for Managing Festivities with Young Children

Updated: May 16, 2024 | Published:

Hello, I’m Amy, and if you’ve ever tried to create the perfect holiday experience with young children, you’ll know it’s a bit like trying to decorate a tree during an earthquake. Everything is moving; nothing stays where it should, and you’re left wondering whether you should laugh or cry.

As a mother of two, I’ve navigated my fair share of festive seasons, each with its unique blend of chaos and joy. Today, I want to share my journey of finding harmony amidst the holiday havoc.

Inciting Incident


It all started one December when my vision of a calm, perfectly orchestrated holiday season was shattered. I had everything planned: the decorations, the meals, and the family visits. But as any parent knows, plans are more of a suggestion than a certainty with young children.

The tipping point came with a toppled Christmas tree, a sea of broken ornaments, and my five-year-old in tears amidst the chaos. This moment was a stark reminder that my ideal holiday and the reality of parenting were at odds.

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The following weeks were a blur of baking disasters, last-minute shopping runs, and the ever-present struggle to entertain the kids. I felt like I was failing at creating the magical holiday experience I had dreamed of. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor, covered in flour, feeling utterly defeated. It was then that I realized something had to give.

I shifted my focus from creating a ‘perfect’ holiday to a ‘real’ one. I involved the kids in the preparations, accepting that the results would be less than Pinterest-worthy. We laughed over misshapen cookies and sang off-key carols. Slowly, the pressure I had placed on myself began to lift.


The climax of my holiday season was not a picture-perfect moment. It was messy, loud, and beautifully imperfect. We had family over, and the house was a cacophony of laughter, chatter, and the occasional toddler tantrum.

During this gathering, I had my revelation: these moments of imperfection were the essence of our family’s holiday spirit. The joy was not in the flawless execution of plans but in the shared experiences, however chaotic they might be.

Falling Action and Resolution

In the days that followed, I found peace in the imperfection. I learned to embrace the unexpected and find humor in the mishaps. We scaled back on some traditions and created new, more manageable ones. The true resolution came in accepting that the magic of the holidays was not in perfection but in the togetherness and the memories we were creating.


Reflecting on these experiences, I’ve learned that managing holidays with young children isn’t about controlling the chaos; it’s about riding the waves with a smile. It’s about creating traditions that are right for your family, even unconventional ones.

As I look forward to future holidays, I do so with a sense of excitement and a newfound understanding that harmony in the holidays comes from embracing the havoc, not trying to avoid it.

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In this journey, I’ve discovered that the most memorable moments often come from unexpected twists and turns. So, to all the parents navigating the festive season with little ones in tow, remember that sometimes the best memories are made when things don’t go according to plan. Embrace the chaos, find your harmony, and enjoy the ride. Happy holidays!


About Amy T. Smith

Amy is a mother, writer, and your go-to expert for real-life insights into parenting, health, and lifestyle. Amy holds a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and prides herself on finding actionable tips and relatable tales.

Through her blog, AmyandRose, she supports you from pregnancy to the teenage years, offering assurance that your experiences are shared.

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